Years ago I read a story about an archaeologist - either alien or one incredibly far away in earth's future - finding an old record of some description and speculating about it. They thought it to be a Roman artefact and eventually managed to play it. Its purpose was thought to be that of creating pictures in the mind, and, as the picture it created for them was of a trireme, this confirmed their dating of it. There was more subtlety to it than this but I am hoping this will spark something and someone can tell me author and title.

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    – Edlothiad
    Jun 19 '17 at 10:01
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    I'm sure I have read it, and also thought there would be a trope for it, alas this seems not to be the case Jun 19 '17 at 10:05
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    For anyone researching this two blanks I have found 'Motel of the Mysteries' seems close but does not have a record in it (that I can see), there is also 'Expedition to Earth' but that is a canister of film. Jun 19 '17 at 11:39
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    Not the story, but an interesting tale of an engineer reverse-engineering a vinyl record as if he were an future archeologist: newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/01/…
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 19 '17 at 11:51
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    I first thought of Gregory Benford's "Time Shards" but that was about recordings in ancient pottery, and doesn't mention a trireme.
    – user22478
    Jun 20 '17 at 21:23

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